A Game of Brawl: The Orioles, the Beaneaters, and the Battle for the 1897 Pennant

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University of Nebraska Press, 2007 - History - 295 pages
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Between 1894 and 1896, the Baltimore Orioles acquired a reputation as the slickest, smartest, and dirtiest team in baseball. Behind the play of future Hall of Famers John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, and Foxy Ned Hanlon, the Orioles had won three straight National League pennants heading into the 1897 season. Their style of play, however, met with widespread disapprobation among fans - the Oriole repertoire included deliberately hitting batters, tampering with the playing surfaces, interfering with opposing baserunners, and verbally assaulting anyone within earshot including the umpires, opposing players, and occasionally each other. the comparatively saintly Boston Beaneaters (themselves three-time champs before being knocked off by the Orioles in 1894), took on a decidedly moralistic flavor - the inveterate Orioles versus the benevolent Beaneaters. It was the most intensely watched team sporting event in the country's history to that time. Fittingly, the race came down to a three-game series between the two teams in the season's final week. down the gates and walls of a facility designed to hold 10,000 to watch the Beaneaters grind out a win and bring down baseball's first and most notorious evil empire.

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User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

Being an account of one of the first pennant races. This book gets bonus props for illuminating the 1890's, baseball's most forgotten decade. The nature of the "pennant race" genre, though, mandates a ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Bill Felber recently retired as the executive editor of the Manhattan Mercury. He is the author of The Book on the Book: An Inquiry into Which Strategies in the Modern Game Actually Work.


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